Pink Floyd Flamingo Still ‘On the Run’ 17 Years After Zoo Escape
A fugitive flamingo that escaped from a Kansas zoo 17 years ago was recently spotted in Texas and given a cheeky nickname: Pink Floyd.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife's coastal fisheries division shared a video on Facebook of the rare find earlier this week.
"Looks like Pink Floyd has returned from the 'dark side the of [the] moon'!" the organization wrote. "Spotted at Rhodes Point in Cox Bay near Port Lavaca by David Foreman on March 10. Pink Floyd is a local Texas flamingo that escaped a Kansas zoo in 2005 and has been seen on the Texas coast for several years."
The video has accumulated more than 124,000 views, by far the most popular clip on the Coastal Fisheries - Texas Parks and Wildlife Facebook page.
According to The New York Times, Pink Floyd is an African flamingo whose legal name is No. 492. (The bird's sex is unknown.) It was part of a flock of 40 flamingos that were imported from Tanzania to the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kan., in the summer of 2003 for a flamingo exhibit that opened the following May.
Because Pink Floyd arrived in Kansas as an adult (probably around 3 years old), the zoo staff decided it would be unethical to amputate part of its wing to prevent it from flying. Adult flamingos are instead kept grounded by having their feathers clipped. But staffers forgot to clip Pink Floyd's feathers, and on a windy day in June 2005, the bird escaped its enclosure along with a companion, No. 347.
Both fugitives soon went their separate ways, with No. 347 last being spotted in Michigan's Au Train Lake in August 2005. Pink Floyd, meanwhile, headed south and befriended a Caribbean flamingo. The two were seen together as recently as 2013.
"Even though they’re two different species, they are enough alike that they would have been more than happy to see each other," Scott Newland, curator of birds at the Sedgwick County Zoo, told The New York Times in 2018. "They're two lonely birds in kind of a foreign habitat. They're not supposed to be there, so they have stayed together because there's a bond."
Pink Floyd is believed to be about 27 years old, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Experts say the birds can live up to 30 years in the wild.
At press time, No. 492 could be heard complaining that it was not included on the updated cover of Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason.